There are several viewpoints and varying bodies of opinion on the use of mobile telephony in workplaces today and how they impact productivity.
Many may argue that mobile telephony is a contemporary form of slavery. Simply because today many people are intricately bound to their phones and hardly let them out of sight. Showing an overwhelming increase in reliance and dependency on mobile telephony. What one would typically call living “digital zombie” lives. Others may also say that the benefits outweigh the risks.
This piece seeks to highlight the impacts of mobile telephony on the quality of productivity at workplaces in Ghana today.
It is true that in our daily lives today as Ghanaians the use of mobile telephones has become an indisputable necessity. The genesis of mobile telephony has undoubtedly offered multiple benefits in various sectors across the country obviously not without challenges.
In the business sector today they have become a vital piece of business equipment used to facilitate transactions. With mobile phones employees are able to improve customer services by being constantly available to provide rapid responses to customer enquiries and concerns and are easily accessible providing some level of convenience . Again, employees are able to increase mobility and flexibility providing employees the ability to work anywhere, at any given time and the power to multitask among many others.
In the health sector, the use of mobile telephony has provided an efficient channel of communication for healthcare service providers and patients. With mobile phones today, physicians are able to keep records of patient history, the use of mobile phones has also aided in bridging the gap between access to information on health and provision of health services, it has also helped in the provision of data on delivery of health services and their outcomes to the Ghana Health Services.
In the agricultural sector, farmers are able to get information on marketing and weather with the use of mobile telephones. They are able to offer reasonable prices for their produce by interacting with market personnel. They are also updated on weather forecasts and agricultural related information.
In spite of all the benefits highlighted above the unregulated and unsupervised use of mobile phones at work places could negatively impact productivity in workplaces.
Mobile phones are source of distractions at many workplaces. This affects the creativity, accuracy the quality and the quantity of work done. Distractions generally interrupts the focus of many employees. Employees who have been assigned important tasks may be caught up with personal conversations via social media and will take time to regain the lost focus. This negatively impacts productivity. These distractions caused by the use of mobile phones at workplaces may also lead to work place hazards. Employees in industries for example who arent paying full attention to the immediate task their undertaking may end up injuring their co-workers. Consumers may also be endangered if products are not well produced resulting in the drop in productivity.
Excessive use of mobile telephony has also lead to the overwhelming increase in workload. This is because employees are not able to accomplish assigned tasks in time and often procrastinate leading to a gradual compilation of load with less time to finish.
The use of mobile telephony also leads to blurring lines between private life and office work. The constant use of phones at workplaces by employees may create a division in office work and leisure time. One may receive work related phone calls after work hours or may receive phone calls from family or friends disrupting important official work.
In a nutsshell, mobile phones significantly affects productivity in Ghana and such effects have positively extended to the social-economic status of the country.
Ghana Institute Of Journalism.